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After many stressful days and sleepless nights, your business has finally become a reality. Now you are faced with the big question, "Will my business be a success?" While only time will truly tell, there are five simple ways to gauge whether or not your business is on the path to success.
Profitability is probably the first thing people think about when measuring success. Is the business making money? This is fairly common sense if there is money left after you have paid your monthly operating expenses and debt, then things are looking pretty good. However, if you find your bottom line is continually red, your chances of success begin to dwindle.
In addition to profitability, a growing customer base is a sure sign that you are effectively reaching your target market, and reaching your target market is what your business is all about. Without a vibrant customer base, your success will be limited, at best. The long-term growth of your company is tied directly to your ability to not only reach your customer base, but to expand it to accommodate your long-term goals. All of those long hours spent on the research and development of a marketing strategy prove themselves here. Did your research pay off?
Customer satisfaction is an indication that your company understands the needs of your customers. Understanding your customers and being able to satisfy their needs is crucial to the strength of your business. Just remember, one unsatisfied customer can negate the promotional impact of several satisfied customers. Having strong customer service polices will add to the success of your company.
Employee satisfaction is another key indicator of business success. Developing a work environment that rewards employees for their hard work is imperative in attracting and retaining quality employees. If workers know they are appreciated, they are much more likely to go the extra mile when needed. Employees are an indispensable part of your business. They are the face that greets your customers. Do everything within your power to make sure that face is a smiling one.
Perhaps the most important measure of business success is whether you the owner are satisfied with the results of business ownership. Dissatisfaction is contagious. If you're not happy with your business, it won't be long before your dissatisfaction begins to affect the employees and even the customers. Every once in a while, carve out time for a reality check. Identify the sources of your dissatisfaction and make the necessary changes before it's too late.
Michael Alter is President of SurePayroll. His payroll outsourcing firm processes and remits payroll taxes for small businesses across the country. He is a contributer to The Payroll Blog and Inc.com's Trade Secrets.